As the trees begin to blossom and spring is just around the corner, it’s a good opportunity to take some time to look after our health for the year ahead.
In one of the oldest writings of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the acupuncture textbook Huang Di Nei Jing (The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine) states that:
“The three months of the spring season bring about the revitalization of all things in nature. It is the time of birth. This is when heaven and earth are reborn.”
The Yellow Emperor then goes on to make some practical suggestions for achieving a healthier lifestyle during this time of year:
- Get fresh air – If going for nature walks in the invigorating outdoors was suggested 2,000 years ago, how much more are we in need of it nowadays with long hours being spent indoors at the office and workplace? Spring is in the air – literally – so be sure to breathe some in!
- Exercise & Stretch – Just as Nature wakes up and becomes more active during the springtime, it’s good for us to take a similar cue in our own lives. Increasing our physical activity levels, including gentle stretching to loosen up those winter couch potato tendons and muscles, is an important aspect of improving our circulation and overall health. Maybe now is a good time to dust off those old New Year’s resolutions of getting more exercise and into better shape.
- Regulate the emotions – Perhaps the most important but easily overlooked advice is to regulate and care for our emotional health. Any extreme emotions and stress, but in particular anger and frustration, can be damaging to our health. The two previous points of advice of breathing and exercise can be helpful in this regard due to their calming effect on the body and nervous system. In addition, the lifelong process of learning to let go and forgive can be especially valuable to our own state of health and wellbeing.
Breathing, exercising, maintaining calmness – the Yellow Emperor’s advice from over 2,000 years ago still sounds like a good way to step into spring!